Effects of fertilization, burning, and grazing on plant community in the long-term fenced grasslands
Guanghua Jing, Wei Li, Kailiang Yu, Zak Ratajczak, Robert L. Kallenbach, Jimin Chenghttps://doi.org/10.17221/64/2017-PSECitation:Jing G., Li W., Yu K., Ratajczak Z., L. Kallenbach R., Cheng J. (2017): Effects of fertilization, burning, and grazing on plant community in the long-term fenced grasslands . Plant Soil Environ., 63: 171-176.
Fencing is the common management practice to restore degraded grasslands. However, long-term fencing decreases grassland productivity and species diversity. The study was therefore conducted as a three-year (2011–2013) experiment with a randomized complete block in a grassland fenced for 20 years in the Loess Plateau of China, and the effects of fertilization, burning and grazing on aboveground biomass, species and functional group composition, species and some functional group diversity were analysed. Our results showed that the functional group of perennial bunchgrasses dominated the grassland regardless of management practices. However, burning altered species composition (i.e. the unpalatable species, Artemisia sacrorum) more significantly than fertilization or grazing, and surprisingly, nearly quadrupled the functional group of shrubs and semi-shrubs. Fertilization had a positive effect on the aboveground biomass (44.0%), while clearly reducing species diversity (21.9%). Grazing decreased aboveground biomass, but increased species diversity by 15.9%. This study indicated that fertilization influenced plant community through its impact on aboveground biomass, while burning changed plant community by altering dominant species. Thus, it was concluded that fertilizer could further improve community biomass while burning reduced the edibility of grass. Grazing could be carried out to enhance the biodiversity in the long-term fenced grasslands.Keywords:
management measures; community biomass; plant diversity; community structure; resourcepetition
Alhamad Mohammad N., Alrababah Mohammad A., Gharaibeh Mamoun A. (2012): Impact of burning and fertilization on dry Mediterranean grassland productivity and diversity. Acta Oecologica, 40, 19-26 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2012.02.005Bai Yongfei, Han Xingguo, Wu Jianguo, Chen Zuozhong, Li Linghao (2004): Ecosystem stability and compensatory effects in the Inner Mongolia grassland. Nature, 431, 181-184 https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02850Boughton Elizabeth H., Bohlen Patrick J., Steele Christen (2013): Season of fire and nutrient enrichment affect plant community dynamics in subtropical semi-natural grasslands released from agriculture. Biological Conservation, 158, 239-247 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2012.09.023Borer Elizabeth T., Seabloom Eric W., Gruner Daniel S., Harpole W. Stanley, Hillebrand Helmut, Lind Eric M., Adler Peter B., Alberti Juan, Anderson T. Michael, Bakker Jonathan D., Biederman Lori, Blumenthal Dana, Brown Cynthia S., Brudvig Lars A., Buckley Yvonne M., Cadotte Marc, Chu Chengjin, Cleland Elsa E., Crawley Michael J., Daleo Pedro, Damschen Ellen I., Davies Kendi F., DeCrappeo Nicole M., Du Guozhen, Firn Jennifer, Hautier Yann, Heckman Robert W., Hector Andy, HilleRisLambers Janneke, Iribarne Oscar, Klein Julia A., Knops Johannes M. H., La Pierre Kimberly J., Leakey Andrew D. B., Li Wei, MacDougall Andrew S., McCulley Rebecca L., Melbourne Brett A., Mitchell Charles E., Moore Joslin L., Mortensen Brent, O'Halloran Lydia R., Orrock John L., Pascual Jesús, Prober Suzanne M., Pyke David A., Risch Anita C., Schuetz Martin, Smith Melinda D., Stevens Carly J., Sullivan Lauren L., Williams Ryan J., Wragg Peter D., Wright Justin P., Yang Louie H. (): Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation. Nature, 508, 517-520 https://doi.org/10.1038/nature13144Busch David E., Smith Stanley D. (1993): Effects of fire on water and salinity relations of riparian woody taxa. Oecologia, 94, 186-194 https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00341316Chalcraft David R., Cox Stephen B., Clark Christopher, Cleland Elsa E., Suding Katharine N., Weiher Evan, Pennington Deana (2008): SCALE-DEPENDENT RESPONSES OF PLANT BIODIVERSITY TO NITROGEN ENRICHMENT. Ecology, 89, 2165-2171 https://doi.org/10.1890/07-0971.1Chen F.R., Cheng J.M., Liu W., Li Y., Ma Z.R., Wei L. (2012): Effects of different disturbances on soil physical and chemical properties in the typical grassland of Loess region. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 26: 105–110. (In Chinese)Cheng J.M., Jia H.Y., Peng X.L. (1997): Biomass structure of fertilized grassland communities. Acta Pratacultural Science, 6: 22–27.Cheng J.M., Jing Z.B., Jin J.W., Gao Y. (2014): Restoration and utilization mechanism of degraded grassland in the semi-arid region of Loess Plateau. Scientia Sinica Vitae, 44: 267–279. (In Chinese)Cheng Jimin, Jing Guanghua, Wei Lin, Jing Zhaobin (2016): Long-term grazing exclusion effects on vegetation characteristics, soil properties and bacterial communities in the semi-arid grasslands of China. Ecological Engineering, 97, 170-178 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2016.09.003Collins Scott L., Calabrese Laura B., Wildi Otto (2012): Effects of fire, grazing and topographic variation on vegetation structure in tallgrass prairie. Journal of Vegetation Science, 23, 563-575 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2011.01369.xGILLIAM FRANK S. (2006): Response of the herbaceous layer of forest ecosystems to excess nitrogen deposition. Journal of Ecology, 94, 1176-1191 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2006.01155.xHejcman Michal, Klaudisová Michaela, Schellberg Jürgen, Honsová Dagmar (2007): The Rengen Grassland Experiment: Plant species composition after 64 years of fertilizer application. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 122, 259-266 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2006.12.036Jia Xiaoxu, Shao Ming’an, Wei Xiaorong (2013): Soil CO2 efflux in response to the addition of water and fertilizer in temperate semiarid grassland in northern China. Plant and Soil, 373, 125-141 https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-013-1771-4Jing Zhaobin, Cheng Jimin, Chen Ao (2013): Assessment of vegetative ecological characteristics and the succession process during three decades of grazing exclusion in a continental steppe grassland. Ecological Engineering, 57, 162-169 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2013.04.035Li W., Cheng J.-M., Yu K.-L., Epstein H.E., Du G.-Z. (2015): Niche and neutral processes together determine diversity Loss in response to fertilization in an alpine meadow community. PloS one 10, e0134560.Niu Kechang, Choler Philippe, de Bello Francesco, Mirotchnick Nicholas, Du Guozhen, Sun Shucun (2014): Fertilization decreases species diversity but increases functional diversity: A three-year experiment in a Tibetan alpine meadow. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 182, 106-112 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2013.07.015Qiu L., Wei X., Zhang X., Cheng J. (2013): Ecosystem carbon and nitrogen accumulation after grazing exclusion in semiarid grassland. PloS one 8, e55433.Rajaniemi Tara K. (2002): Why does fertilization reduce plant species diversity? Testing three competition-based hypotheses. Journal of Ecology, 90, 316-324 https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2745.2001.00662.xRatajczak Zakary, Nippert Jesse B., Collins Scott L. (2012): Woody encroachment decreases diversity across North American grasslands and savannas. Ecology, 93, 697-703 https://doi.org/10.1890/11-1199.1Ritchie Mark E., Tilman David, Knops Johannes M. H. (1998): HERBIVORE EFFECTS ON PLANT AND NITROGEN DYNAMICS IN OAK SAVANNA. Ecology, 79, 165-177 https://doi.org/10.1890/0012-9658(1998)079[0165:HEOPAN]2.0.CO;2Scheiter Simon, Higgins Steven I., Osborne Colin P., Bradshaw Catherine, Lunt Dan, Ripley Brad S., Taylor Lyla L., Beerling David J. (2012): Fire and fire-adapted vegetation promoted C4 expansion in the late Miocene. New Phytologist, 195, 653-666 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04202.xVeach Allison M., Dodds Walter K., Skibbe Adam, Adam Paul (2014): Fire and Grazing Influences on Rates of Riparian Woody Plant Expansion along Grassland Streams. PLoS ONE, 9, e106922- https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0106922Wang Guohong (2007): Leaf trait co-variation, response and effect in a chronosequence. Journal of Vegetation Science, 18, 563-570 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2007.tb02570.xWang H., Xie Y., Yang Y., Chuai J. (2011): Allelopathic effect of extracts from Artemisia sacrorum leaf and stem on four dominant plants of enclosed grassland on Yunwu Mountain. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 31: 6013–6021. (In Chinese)Wright Ian J., Reich Peter B., Westoby Mark, Ackerly David D., Baruch Zdravko, Bongers Frans, Cavender-Bares Jeannine, Chapin Terry, Cornelissen Johannes H. C., Diemer Matthias, Flexas Jaume, Garnier Eric, Groom Philip K., Gulias Javier, Hikosaka Kouki, Lamont Byron B., Lee Tali, Lee William, Lusk Christopher, Midgley Jeremy J., Navas Marie-Laure, Niinemets Ülo, Oleksyn Jacek, Osada Noriyuki, Poorter Hendrik, Poot Pieter, Prior Lynda, Pyankov Vladimir I., Roumet Catherine, Thomas Sean C., Tjoelker Mark G., Veneklaas Erik J., Villar Rafael (2004): The worldwide leaf economics spectrum. Nature, 428, 821-827 https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02403